X-STOP® Allows Machinist to Fulfi ll His Retirement Dream
One morning back in December 2004 when 58-year-old Mark Casale tried to get off the bed, he fell to the fl oor. For a complete yr afterward, the person who once routinely hiked 6-7 miles a day within the hills above his Southern California home couldn’t walk a step. “It scared the heck out of me,” he recalled. “I could not stand up off the bed. I gained 25 kilos, which I still must lose. I used to be very depressed. I could not work at my job as a machinist at Lockheed Martin or do anything.” His primary care physician fi rst thought Mark was affected by peripheral arterial damage brought on by his diabetes. But an MRI detected that Mark’s inability to walk attributable to severe pain from his buttocks all of the strategy to his feet was brought on by lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) in his L3 and L4 vertebrae.
What’s Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS)?
LSS is a narrowing of the spinal canal that impinges on the nerves within the spinal canal or on the nerves exiting to the legs. This could result in persistent pain within the buttocks, limping, lack of feeling in lower extremities and decreased physical activity. LSS is the most important indication for back surgery in people over 50, who make up the fastest growing demographic population on the planet. It’s estimated that 1.2 million people in america alone suffer from LSS, with over 200,000 diagnosed patients admitted to U.S. hospitals annually. Patients who’re diagnosed with LSS initially receive conservative treatment corresponding to bed rest, support devices, physical therapy and pain medications before moving on to surgical remedies. Initially, conservative treatment allowed Mark to walk short distances and return to work.
Discovering an Choice to Major Surgery
After three years of conservative treatment, Mark was fed up together with his inability to walk greater than six minutes without feeling severe pain. He was in constant pain at his job, where he stood more often than not. Mark refused to contemplate major back surgery corresponding to a laminectomy because he feared at his age he would never heal completely from the procedure where bone is removed. He was losing hope that anything might be done for his pain. Then his general practitioner suggested that he discuss with surgeons on the University of California, Los Angeles. There he met orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Arya Nick Shamie and learned of a latest, minimally invasive surgical operation with Kyphon’s X-STOP® Interspinous Process Decompression System.
“Mark was the proper candidate for this surgery since his pain went away when he sat down or fl exed forward and got here back when he stood up or began walking,” said Dr. Shamie. “The X-STOP spacer puts the patient’s spine in a seated position even when standing up.”
Mark was impressed with Dr. Shamie’s knowledge of the procedure and felt confi dent knowing that he was renowned for his expertise with the X-STOP spacer. Since being trained on the procedure in 2005, Dr. Shamie has performed roughly 80 surgeries.
On November 19, 2007, Mark was implanted with an X-STOP spacer, which increased the realm of the spinal canal and relieved the pain brought on by his LSS. He was under local anesthesia and your complete procedure took about an hour.
“Dr. Shamie told me that I’d probably must stay within the hospital for at some point, but half-hour after the surgery I used to be up and walking with no pain, so I went home that day,” Mark said. “My symptoms were reduced immediately. Even now, I haven’t any pain in my lower legs or buttocks. It is ideal. I’d have done this sooner if I had known about it.”
Looking Forward to Pain Free Life
Mark is looking forward now to retiring next yr and dealing part-time as an aircraft mechanic. This retirement dream, he said, is something he couldn’t have realized without the X-STOP procedure. He’s getting back in shape by walking each day together with his dog within the hills above his Southern California home. “My dog really missed that. Before my surgery, I hadn’t walked together with her in 2½ years,” Mark said.
Learn more at www.spinecenter.ucla.edu or www.uclahealth.org/NickShamie